That’s right I’m about to review a book – is this why I’m so sloooooow with writing well YES … okay no, the book was really a quick read so I have no excuse LOL.
Soooo what was this book, was it Romance? No, but there was a love story.
Was it Erotic? Nope, but there was sex in it.
Was it historical? Uh-uh, but it was about the past ….
Am I driving you nuts yet?
The book was ….. RITA MORENO, A MEMOIR
Yup a non-fiction, celebrity book.
A little background first. All my life (well as far back as I could remember) any time West Side Story came on tv my dad or grandmother or aunt or whoever was watching would say, see the woman playing Anita? THAT’S your cousin. So I’ve been a bit obsessed with her, I remember watching her daily on The Electric Company and then in later years in Oz on HBO. The only problem was, no one knew exactly how we were all related. (Cousin’s in Hispanic families tend to run from first cousins, to third cousins four times removed, to close family friends)
So when I’d heard she had a book out I thought well it’s her life story maybe she’ll mention her family. So I bought the book. And lo and behold she does. It turns out that her grandfather is my great-grandfather on my paternal grandmother’s side, however her grandmother is not my great-grandmother (grandpa was married twice). There still seems to be a little question about it. Currently I’m checking birth certificates and whatever paperwork my aunt has to verify.
Now on to the book itself. I found it to be really well written, she grabs you from the very beginning. It’s written in a way that you can almost hear her speaking to you, as if talking to a friend as she describes her early memories in Puerto Rico, to the tenements of the South Bronx and finally onto the bright lights of stage and screen. She holds no punches and is very open about her past relationships, her family, her unhealthy almost obsession with Marlon Brando, her flings with Elvis and Dennis Hopper and finally her marriage. It’s juicy without being selacious.
She touches on the many movies she made. I had no idea she’d made so many, and the difficulties of a darker skinned latina in finding good work in hollywood then AND now. I was really engulfed in her successes and failures, in her descriptions of the world around her and the determination she had to not only be a success but to do it on her terms.
I absolutely loved it (and would have even if I didn’t think we were related LOL)
So if you’re looking for a good read (I’d recommend it based on the Marlon Brando stories alone), pick it up!
Until Next Time,